All About Jane

Celebrating 200 Years of Jane Austen
August to November 2017

Last summer and fall the Library commemorated the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death with a series of book discussions, scholarly lectures, film screenings, fashion, food art, music and more from Jane Austen's era. 

Contact: Lesley Lambton, Adult Programs Director, 203-438-2282 x 11013,

Library Materials | Programs & Events | Program Sponsors & Partners | Recommended Links


By Jane Austen
About Jane Austen
Inspired by Jane Austen


Programs & Events

Check out our All About Jane brochure


August 2017


Tuesday, August 1 @ 7 PM @ Ridgefield Library

Nonfictioneers Book Discussion: Jane Austen: A Life
by Carol Shields

With the same sensitivity and artfulness that are the trademarks of her award-winning novels, Carol Shields explores the life of a writer whose own novels have engaged and delighted readers for the past two hundred years. In Jane Austen, Shields follows this superb and beloved novelist from her early family life in Steventown to her later years in Bath, her broken engagement, and her intense relationship with her sister Cassandra. She reveals both the very private woman and the acclaimed author behind the enduring classics Sense and SensibilityPride and Prejudice, and Emma. With its fascinating insights into the writing process from an award–winning novelist, Carol Shields’s magnificent biography of Jane Austen is also a compelling meditation on how great fiction is created.

Copies of the book are available for loan at the Library’s Circulation Desk.

No registration.


September 2017

Tuesday, September 5 @ 7 PM

Nonfictioneers Book Discussion: Jane Austen's England: Daily Life in the Georgian and Regency Periods by Leslie and Roy Adkins

Jane Austen, arguably one of the greatest novelists of the English language, wrote brilliantly about the gentry and aristocracy of two centuries ago in her accounts of young women looking for love. Jane Austen’s England explores the customs and culture of the real England of her everyday existence depicted in her classic novels. Drawing upon a rich array of contemporary sources, including many previously unpublished manuscripts, diaries, and personal letters, Roy and Lesley Adkins vividly portray the daily lives of ordinary people, discussing topics as diverse as birth, marriage, religion, sexual practices, hygiene, highwaymen, and superstitions.

Copies of the book are available for loan at the Library’s Circulation Desk.

No registration.


Thursday, September 14, 7 PM

Sensibility and Sense: How the 18th Century Meets the 19th in Jane Austen's Novels: A Lecture with Dr. Mark Schenker

The novels of Jane Austen (1775-1817) were published between 1811 and 1818—four during her lifetime and two posthumously. But all are set in the closing years of the 18th century and in the opening years of the 19th. In her fiction’s witty presentation and critique of the British landed gentry at the turn of the century, it may be seen as providing a bridge between the novel of sensibility, which Austen satirized as excessively sentimental, and the literary realism that was to form the hallmark of the 19th-century novel.

Mark J. Schenker has been at Yale College since 1990. He is currently a senior associate dean of the College and dean of academic affairs. A former lecturer in the English Department at Yale, he received his Ph.D. from Columbia University with a concentration in 19th-century and early 20th-century English literature.

  Listen to Mark's fascinating lecture.

Please register.


Sunday, September 24, 2 PM

ARTalk: The World of Jane Austen with Patricia Carr

In The World of Jane Austen Patricia Carr will focus on the world in which Austen grew up, mainly rural England.  With the aid of beautiful slides, including many of paintings of the time, Carr will help us enter that world and learn a little more about what life was like for the country gentry.

Patricia Carr was born and studied in England. For the past thirteen years she has worked as a guide at the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT.  She is also a docent at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven.  In addition to this illustrated talk, Ms. Carr will lead a tour of the Yale Center for British Art on Sunday, October 1 at 2 p.m.  Spaces for the tour are limited to 15 so please register early on the registration link at that event listing.

Please register.


Tuesday, September 26, 1 PM and 7 PM

Film Screening: Emma

Emma ( 1996, PG, 120 minutes) starring Gwyneth Paltrow will be screened at 1 PM and 7 PM.

This delightfully fun and lighthearted comedy is based on Jane Austen's classic novel. Dazzling Gwyneth Paltrow shines as Emma - a mischievous young beauty who sets up her single friends. Funny thing is...she's not very good at it! So when Emma tries to find a man for Harriet, she makes a hilariously tangled mess of everyone's lives.

Please register for 1 PM screening

Please register for 7 PM screening


Wednesday, September 27 10 AM and 7 PM

Book Discussion: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen led by Mary Rindfleisch

Clergyman’s daughter Catherine Morland loves the suspense and romance of the popular Gothic novels of the day and expects to find similar excitement when she is invited to visit some new friends at the forbidding Northanger Abbey, their family estate. Austen adds a satirical send-up of the Gothic sensibility to her usual keen observation of human frailties.

Copies of the book will be available for loan at the Library’s Circulation Desk a month before the discussion is to take place.

No registration.


October 2017

Sunday, October 1, 2 PM @ Yale Center For British Art, 1080 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT

A Jane Austen Inspired Tour of Yale Center for British Art in New Haven with Patricia Carr

As a follow-up to her illustrated talk: The World of Jane Austen that took place on September 24, Patricia Carr will lead a tour of the Yale Center for British Art.  During this tour, museum docent Carr will imagine that some of the portraits in the collection are characters in the novels of Jane Austen as she discusses the paintings.  This interactive tour is an interesting way to view the Center’s admirable collection of British art, the largest in the world outside the U.K.

Space is limited to 15 on the tour. There is a $5.00 per person registration fee.

Registration required.

Wednesday, October 4, 1 to 3:30 PM

Jane Austen Sewing Circle

Join us for a Jane Austen sewing circle, as we make some simple household accoutrements from the Regency period. Choose from a tea cosy or a reticule (the drawstring purses that become the fashion when lighter, less voluminous clothing without pockets came into vogue ca. 1800) – or make one of each! Material, patterns and instructions will be provided; choose from many fabric selections.  Basic hand or machine sewing skill a plus but not required. This program will be led by Pat Corrigan and Mary Rindfleisch.

Tea and cakes will be served!  Please register.

Monday, October 9, 3:30 to 5:30 PM

Teen Film Screening: Clueless (1995, PG13, 97 mins.)

Teens join us for the screening of the classic film Clueless: a modern day retelling of Jane Austen's Emma, starring Alicia Silverstone and Paul Rudd.

This is a drop-in program and registration is not necessary. Snacks will be provided.



Tuesday, October 10, 1 PM and 7 PM

Film Screening of Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility (1995, PG, 135 minutes). Emma Thompson stars in the captivating romance based on Jane Austen's classic novel of two sisters' search for love in strict Victorian society. Also featuring Kate Winslett and Hugh Grant. The film will be screened at 1 PM and 7 PM.

Please register for 1 PM screening.

Please register for 7 PM screening.

Thursday, October 12, 3 PM @ Founders Hall, 193 Danbury Road, Ridgefield, CT

Founders Hall Book Discussion: Emma by Jane Austen led by Mary Rindfleisch

Young, rich and independent, busybody Emma sets out to manipulate the lives and loves of those around her but fails to take into account what might happen to her own heart in the process.

Open to Founders hall members only. Copies of the book will be available for loan at the Founders Hall reception desk a month before the discussion is to take place.

No registration.


Thursday, October 12, 7 PM

Fashion in Fiction: Jane Austen's Regency Novels with Kandie Carle

Clothing speaks volumes in Jane Austen's Regency novels.  Join us for a delightful show-and-tell on the clothing of Regency England as reflected in Jane Austen's fiction. Includes dressing "Elizabeth Bennet" and "Mr. Darcy" and readings from Miss Austen's letters and novels.

While dressed in authentic Regency attire, Kandie Carle gives a detailed overview of the clothing of the Regency Era (early 1800s) for both gentlemen and ladies. Then Ms Carle shares excerpts from Austen's personal letters as well as passages from some of the novels, highlighting Miss Austen's use of clothing and fashion to define character & class, enhance story line, and develop plot points. Teens through adults will enjoy discovering just how important fashion was 200 years ago!

Ms. Carle has been presenting historical programs since 1992, from Regency to Edwardian (1800-1915), and draws on her extensive background in theatre, dance and historical fashion to engage and enthrall the audience!

Please register.


Tuesday, October 17, 10 AM and 7 PM

Critics' Circle Book Group Discussion: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen led by Dorothy Pawlowski

Marianne Dashwood falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby and ignores her sister Elinor's warning that her impulsive behavior leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment. Through their parallel experience of love - and its threatened loss - the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love. 

Copies of the book will be available for loan at the Library’s Circulation Desk a month before the discussion is to take place.

No registration.

November 2017

Saturday, November 4, 1 PM

Book to Movie Film Screening and Discussion: Pride and Prejudice led by Mark Edwards.

Pride and Prejudice (2005, PG, 128 minutes), starring Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen and Talulah Riley, will be screened and a discussion will follow.

Mark Edwards teaches media studies at Sacred Heart University. His book Pirates on Dinosaur Island was published in the spring of 2012 by Gemma Media, and his play Ladies in Hats was a Kennedy Center semi-finalist and was performed in the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre Marathon in 2010.  Edwards is currently writing a column on science fiction television for Space and Time magazine, and teaches an Art of Science Fiction and Fantasy writing course for the M.F.A. program at Lesley University.  

Please register.


Tuesday, November 7, 3:30 to 5:30 PM

Teen Film Screening: Austenland (2013, PG13, 97 mins.)

Teens join us for the screening of the film Austenland starring Keri Russel.

 This is a drop-in program and registration is not necessary. Snacks will be provided.




Sunday, November 12, 1 - 4 PM
Jane Austen Celebration Party

"One cannot have too large a party."  Emma

Join us for period card games, refreshments, crafts, live music and more! Period costume welcome but not required.


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Tuesday, November 14, 6:30 PM @ Ridgefield High School, Learning Commons, 700 North Salem Road, Ridgefield CT
& Wednesday, November 15, 6:30 PM @ Ridgefield Library

Books Building Bridges: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Adult readers are invited to join students from Ridgefield High School in this year's Books Building Bridges intergenerational book chats, facilitated by high school students. Adults and students are encouraged to attend either the session on Tuesday, November 14 at 6:30 PM at the Ridgefield High School, Learning Commons or on Wednesday, November 15 at 6 :30 PM at the Ridgefield Library. 

Copies of the book will be available for loan from the Library’s Circulation Desk a month before the discussion is to take place.

Please register for November 14 discussion

Please register for November 15 discussion


Program Sponsors & Partners

All About Jane programs are made possible thanks to the Friends of the Library.

Library Materials

Fiction and non-fiction books are shelved on the Library's Upper Level. Audiobooks on CD are housed on the Upper Level and DVDs may be found in the Bossidy Commons on the Main Level. Please check the New Fiction and new Non-fiction displays on the Upper Level for many new titles published or acquired in honor of this year's anniversary.

The author's works and many titles about or inspired by Jane Austen are also available in eB or downloadable audio version from hoopla, OverDrive, Project Gutenberg and other web-based sevrices. Check the Library catalog for availability.

Jane Austen in the News: Recommended Links

Jane Austen Society of North America

A nonprofit organization staffed by volunteers who are dedicated to the enjoyment and appreciation of Jane Austen and her writing.

Jane Austen's Fiction Manuscripts

A three-year research project which aims to create a digital resource reuniting all the known holograph surviving manuscripts of Austen’s fiction in an unprecedented virtual collection.

Austen Blog

A compendium of news about Jane Austen in popular culture, including newspaper articles, books and magazines, film adaptations, continuations of the novels or modern retellings, and Austen-related events.

Jane Austen's World

A blog bringing Jane Austen, her novels, and the Regency Period alive through food, dress, social customs, and other 19th century historical details.

Jane Austen Fun and Games

Who Are You in Pride and Prejudice

Check out this fun activity thanks to Anglerfishmagazine.

Pride and Prejudice Cartoon

A wonderful cartoon by Jen Sorensen.




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